Monday, March 7, 2011

Crooked Letter Crooked Letter

by Tom Franklin

This book is marketed as a "great southern mystery;" great, questionable; southern, very much so; mystery, not at all. 

Tom Franklin is very descriptive and writes an easy to read novel, which quickly immerses the reader into the south. He did an excellent job of developing his characters, creating interesting relationships between them and making some side -themes that could lead to interesting book club discussions.

Some of the issues I had with the book were that although much attention was given to detail, in many cases the detailed explanations were often unnecessary to development of the story line. Another problem was that while the author wanted to portray racism in the 70's, the concept was repeatedly stated in the story, but the actions, behaviors and dialogue of the characters did not reflect a racist community. I also had trouble believing when the most significant murder was solved, which is the crux of the entire story, the police in the story don't pursue it. I think the author struggled in creating mystery. Each time an incident arose that could lead to a mystery, the author conveyed the results before developing any suspense.

I might have liked Crooked Letter better if I hadn't read it expecting a mystery.

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